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Article archives

Book: Acorn - A World in Pixels

Posted by Andrew Poole on 09:00, 1/1/2021 | , ,
 
Acorn - A World in Pixels, by idesine publishing, is a new 476 page book about the best the BBC Micro had to offer in games. From Airlift to Zalaga, a huge number of the well known BBC Micro-era games are included with wonderfully designed full-colour pages for each and interviews with some of the programmers behind the games and also the people behind the computers themselves. The book, published on 27 November, 2020, is beautifully presented in hardback form with an Acorn green bookmark attached to the spine and contained within a hard slip cover.

The book starts with a short overview of Acorn and the BBC Micro followed by overviews of some of the bigger publishers of the time including Acornsoft, Superior Software, Micro Power and the 4th Dimension before diving into the games themselves. Many games have a full page spread with a description of the game and screenshots and illustrations. Interspersed between the game pages are interviews with developers, publishers and other prominent names from the era.

Towards the end of the book, there's a selection of interviews and information about the magazines of the time including Acorn User, The Micro User and Electron User as well as some interviews with some of the people who produced the sound and graphics to go with the games.

Finally, there's a quick look at some more recent activity in game development for the BBC Micro with interviews with some developers who have been working on games for the systems in recent years.

If you played games on the BBC Micro or Electron, Acorn - A World in Pixels is bound to bring memories of the time flooding back.

The book is available from the usual book stores and the publisher's website with an RRP of £29.99.

Links
idesine: Acorn - A World in Pixels (Publisher's website)
 
2 comments in the forums

Cloverleaf drops promise of including retro games with Kickstarter rewards (Updated)

Posted by Andrew Poole on 17:53, 22/12/2020 | , , , ,
 
Banned from CloverleafFollowing an odd saga over the weekend involving Facebook group bans, deleted comments and generally hostile responses, the Cloverleaf project have this evening posted an update to their Kickstarter page noting that due to legal concerns, their previous promises of including a large collection of games with the project's rewards will no longer be fulfilled. Instead, Cloverleaf will provide a way to download games from other sources.

Previously, Cloverleaf had promised a number of emulators and "enough games to discover and play for at least 1 year" as well as illustrating their project's posts with pictures of popular games such as Doom, Lemmings, Elite, Myst and Duke Nukem 3D.

In the short statement on the Kickstarter project's updates page, Cloverleaf explained:
 
Continue reading "Cloverleaf drops promise of including retro games with Kickstarter rewards (Updated)" | Comment in the forums

Amcog's latest game Star Mine reviewed

Posted by Mark Stephens on 08:06, 10/12/2019 | ,
 
Amcog has become a great source of new games for RISC OS over the last few years, and the London Show saw the release of their latest offering - Star Mine. It should run on most RISC OS machines (I tested it on a Titanium). This is the first Amcog game to offer joystick support as well as using user-definable keys.

 
Continue reading "Amcog's latest game Star Mine reviewed" | Comment in the forums

Amcog Games Escape from the Arcade reviewed

Posted by Mark Stephens on 07:06, 10/5/2019 |
 
One of the many exciting reasons to be at Wakefield 2019 was to visit the Amcog Games stand and see (and indeed buy!) their new game "Escape from the Arcade". This is their latest maze/platform game and should run on just about any RISC OS 4/5 system (I am playing it on my TItanium).
 
Continue reading "Amcog Games Escape from the Arcade reviewed" | 1 comment in the forums

RISC OS interview with Tim H-Smith

Posted by Mark Stephens on 07:28, 16/3/2018 | ,
 
There was recently a very interesting discussion about writing a new RISC OS game on Stardot. Our intrepid reporters have tracked down the prospective author to find out more....
 
 
Continue reading "RISC OS interview with Tim H-Smith" | 1 comment in the forums

Treasure trove of RISC OS games at JASPP site

Posted by Mark Stephens on 06:49, 14/7/2017 |
 
We try to flag up interesting sites you might have missed or are worth revisiting (let us know if you have any suggestions). In our previous item we reminded you about Exploring Mathematical shapes in RISC OS. This time it is all about games....
 
A wealth of games have been released for RISC OS machines over the year. Many of these games no longer run on modern hardware or have been in danger of being lost as the Companies who produced them have changed direction or disappeared.
 
The Archimedes Software Preservation Project has aimed to tackle both these issues. It has just announced the latest release of ADFFS (version 2.61). If you have been itching to run Zalaga or Moondash on your Pi, this is the release for you.
 
The software is free to download and use, and 65 of the support games can also be downloaded from links on the website.
 
Many of these games could have been lost and it is really great to see John Abbot bringing them back to life for the next generation.
 
Download ADFFS and games website
 
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New release of Cyborg from AMCOG games

Posted by Mark Stephens on 08:41, 7/7/2017 |
 
When we interviewed Tony from AMCOG games, he told us about his exciting plans for developing and enhancing new games.
 
So it is no surprise to see the release of Cyborg Second Edition. If you are looking for an Arcade action style game (think Cyberton), Cyborg has it all in 16 million colours on all RISC OS 4/5 machines including emulation. The game costs 9.99 pounds.
 
AMCOG has also done a lot of work on its free RDSP sound solution for RISC OS and Tony talks about this at recent shows. The game makes extensive use of this.
 
There is a youtube video showcasing the game on youtube
 
Game details are on the AMCOG website
 
If you already have the game, you can enjoy the new levels and Audio Visual enhancements with a free download from !Store
 
It is really great to see AMCOG providing quality new games for the RISC OS market.
 
1 comment in the forums

RISC OS Interviews - Anthony Vaughan Bartram

Posted by Mark Stephens on 13:24, 31/3/2017 | , ,
 
This time round we introduce you to the talented musician, programmer and games maestro Anthony Vaughan Bartram, the person behind AmCoG games.

How long have you been using RISC OS?
Nearly 3 years now. I first booted up RISC OS on my Raspberry Pi in June 2014.

What other systems do you use?
Windows PCs/laptops with various OS versions & occasionally Linux.
I also have my original BBC Micro from 1983 which my 10 year old daughter likes playing on too.

What is your current RISC OS setup?
My main dev. system is an R-CompInfo ARMX6 with Elesar keyboard, plus a plethora of Raspberry Pis (including an Ident Micro one). I've also got various RISC OS systems to test my games on including a borrowed Iyonix, RPCEmu and Virtual Acorn.

Do you attend any of the shows and what do you think of them?
I've been exhibiting at Wakefield, MUG, London and the South West show since 2015.
I really enjoy the social and idea sharing at these shows. For example, at London 2016, someone was running a YouTube video as a teletext stream on a BBC Micro. There was a custom DJ system being shown too. On returning home after catching up with everyone, I always have a list of new ideas to work or collaborate on.

What do you use RISC OS for in 2017 and what do you like most about it?
I use it for being creative as RISC OS is not very distracting when compared to, for example, Windows. There are no pop-ups, forced updates or social media notifications. RISC OS is something that I can take control of (rather than the other way around) and this is what I like most. As a result, I use it for developing original computer games, original synthesiser technology amongst other things.

Whilst I might port some titles from RISC OS to Windows or Android, RISC OS is my main creative platform.

What is your favourite feature/killer program in RISC OS?
The GUI itself, StrongEd, BBC BASIC and possibly RDSP.

What would you most like to see in RISC OS in the future?
Multi-core thread support and some use of native GPU acceleration.

Favourite (vaguely RISC OS-releated) moan?
I'm afraid I suffer from chronic optimism - so don't like to moan much at all. Apparently sometimes this can be quite annoying :-)
I accept RISC OS for what it is including any rough edges. I hope to try and help fix/smooth out those edges going forward.

Can you tell us about what you are working on in the RISC OS market at the moment?
Iíve released 4 games in a little under 2 years and am working on more titles as well as updates to existing games at the moment. Further, Iím going to release a development kit geared towards, but not exclusively for, games. This kit will contain the library which I use for my own titles, together with AMCOGís new RDSP virtual sound chip which I recently previewed (n.b. The RDSP sound module will remain free).

Any surprises you can't or dates to tease us with?
Keep coming to the RISC OS shows to find out any surprises. I align release dates with shows. Whatever I have finished gets released then.

Apart from iconbar (obviously) what are your favourite websites?
Riscository, riscosblog and ROOL.

Any questions we forgot to ask you?
I also write songs, prose and have an interest in graphic design. I find that computer games let me combine all of these hobbies with programming.

I also sell music CDs at shows that comprise original songs that Iíve either written or co-written.

AmCoG games website.
 
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Games news

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Chris Jordan, Music500, ArcElite @ ROUGOL on 21 Apr 2014

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Software preservation project bearing fruit

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Old games on new screens

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Newsround

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Oldschool Reviews - Burn 'Out

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